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Antenatal care & private birth

Thank you for considering Dr. McKenna for your pregnancy care. We aim to provide complete care to the highest standard in professional, yet comfortable and relaxed surroundings. Waiting times are kept to a minimum and early morning appointments are available.

Dr. McKenna provides “shared care” to all his Obstetric patients. This means that your care will be “shared” with your General Practitioner. You will see your GP for 6-7 consultations during your pregnancy.

Dr. McKenna assesses low-risk mothers and low-risk babies routinely at 11-14 weeks’ gestation. He sees patients every four weeks until 33 weeks, and then fortnightly. A detailed scan is performed at each visit. High risk patients and pregnancies in which a problem develops will be seen more often. At each clinic, a number of appointment slots are reserved for “emergency scans.” This allows private patients, without a formal appointment, to attend for a consultation and scan.

All patients are offered a six-eight week post-natal visit.

All patients will be offered a viability scan at 7-9 weeks’ gestation when they book with Dr McKenna. This will be performed by Catherine Hegarty, Dr. McKenna’s midwife and a qualified Sonographer. If no problems are identified, patients are booked to be seen by Dr .McKenna at 11-14 weeks’ gestation. Should a problem arise with the scan, Dr. McKenna will be called and he will endeavour to see you immediately.  A detailed Medical, Obstetric and Gynaecological history will also be taken at this visit and recorded in your pregnancy medical records. This visit usually lasts about 30-45 minutes.

If no problems to date have been identified, this will be your first appointment with Dr. McKenna.

At this visit, a scan will be performed to confirm a healthy pregnancy and accurately date your pregnancy.

 A Nuchal Scan will be offered at this visit. A nuchal scan involves a measurement of the skin thickness at the back of the baby’s neck (nuchal translucency). This test is designed to pick up a baby at risk of having a chromosomal problem. If the test is positive, an amniocentesis test is available to check the baby’s chromosomes. Should you wish to have an amniocentesis, this will be performed by Dr. McKenna in Cork University Maternity Hospital.

At 21 weeks, a Fetal Anomaly Scan will be performed. The scan will show the baby’s development and will often detect a major abnormality such as spina bifida.  This can never completely guarantee that the baby will be normal, but it gives very strong reassurance. A check will be made on the placenta, amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord. If you wish, you can find out the sex of your baby from this scan.

Ultrasound in later pregnancy is performed to check that the fetus is growing well in a healthy environment. During these baby scans, the baby is measured to estimate the fetal weight. The amniotic fluid and maturity of the placenta is checked as well. Blood flow to and from the baby in the umbilical cord will be checked using a Doppler ultrasound examination. If a problem arises, more frequent and more detailed scans will be performed.

Unfortunately, complications can arise at any time during a pregnancy. Should a complication arise, you are advised to phone Dr. McKenna’s private rooms (021 4344010) or the emergency room in Cork University Maternity Hospital (021 4920596). His private rooms are open 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. The staff in the clinic or the hospital will then contact Dr. McKenna directly about your attendance, day or night.

If a complication arises during your pregnancy, you may be admitted as an in-patient to Cork University Maternity Hospital. Under this circumstance, you will be directly under Dr. McKenna’s care. 

Your labour and delivery will be in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH). Dr. McKenna does not work in a group practice. This assures his private patients that they can expect Dr. McKenna, only, to attend to their care during labour and delivery. Should an assisted delivery (vacuum or forceps) or caesarean section be needed, this will be performed by Dr. McKenna. If an elective caesarean section is planned, this will also be performed by Dr. McKenna.

He will be responsible for your postnatal care until you are discharged from hospital. On the rare occasion that Dr. McKenna is unable to attend your delivery, one of his Consultant Colleagues in CUMH will attend your delivery and be responsible for your care until he returns.

Once your baby has been delivered and you have been discharged from CUMH, you will need about 6-8 weeks to recover from the birth. The rate of recovery varies greatly and there are a lot of factors that can affect this, e.g. type of delivery. You will be seen by Dr. McKenna six-eight weeks after delivery to confirm that you have made a full recovery. Any complications arising during this time will be managed by Dr. McKenna.


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